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May 26th, 2009
09:09 AM ET

Toobin: Sotomayor will be voice for moderate liberalism

Sonia Sotomayor speaks as President Barack Obama listens after announcing her as his Supreme Court nominee May 26, 2009.

Sonia Sotomayor speaks as President Barack Obama listens after announcing her as his Supreme Court nominee May 26, 2009.

President Obama announced today he has chosen federal judge Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed, Obama's nominee will replace retiring Justice David Souter, who announced this month he would step down when the court's current session ends this summer.

CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin spoke to T.J. Holmes about the pick on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday.

T.J. Holmes: Jeffrey, any surprises here to you? It seems like she has been the front-runner since David Souter said he was going to step down.

Jeffrey Toobin: Well, if the president was going to pick a judge, it seemed very likely that Sotomayor was going to be the one. She is a very eminent judge. She would be the first Hispanic judge. She brings a certain bipartisan aura because she was originally appointed to the federal district court by the first President Bush. But President Obama has often spoke of the fact that he thinks people who are not judges should be appointed to the Supreme Court; people who are governors, who are politicians. And certainty he gave that possibility serious consideration. But in the end, he decided to pick one more federal appeals court judge to complete the all nine lineup on the court of all appellate court judges... Yes, it is possible he will have more appointments, but you never know. And he's had one so far. And this looks like a very solid pick, someone who will probably have very little trouble getting confirmed. And who will be a voice like David Souter for moderate liberalism.

Holmes: Moderate liberalism. That's what Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told us earlier. He described her as moderate and to the left. Is that about right?

Toobin: I would say that's right. You never know for sure, because circuit court judges are bound by Supreme Court precedent. Supreme Court justices are less bound by Supreme Court precedent, so they have a little more running room. They get to expose their own inclinations to a greater degree than circuit court judges. So certainly she will be to the left on the court, with the three other liberals on the court - John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We'll see how liberal she is. I don't think anyone can know for sure. She probably doesn't even know at this point.

Holmes: You don't perceive her having any problem getting confirmed as you said here. So this one could go fairly smoothly for the president. You don't perceive having any issues getting in place on the bench when their new season starts up in the fall?

Toobin: Certainly based on what's known about Judge Sotomayor currently, I can't imagine any problems with confirmation. She has been a very distinguished judge for now pushing 20 years. Certainly there may be decisions that people disagree with, but there have been no ethical controversies involving her, no scandals. As John McCain liked to say, elections have consequences. And President Obama has picked someone who more or less reflects his own political views. He will likely have 60 votes in the Senate in the Democratic Party by summer. It just seems based on what's known now that this would be inconceivable as a defeated nomination.

Editor's note: Jeffrey Toobin is a CNN senior analyst and a staff writer at The New Yorker. A former assistant U.S. attorney, Toobin is the author of several critically acclaimed bestsellers, including "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" and "Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election."


Filed under: Supreme Court
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. dave

    Obama smiled when greeting a Central American dictator, just like Ronald Reagan smiled when greeting Gorbachez. Obama wants to raise the tax rate on the highest brackets to the same level as Ronald Reagan had them. Obama want to put one of George HW Bush's Federal jusges on the Supreme Court. Obama is continuing to use W's military tribunals. Obama was raised without a father, just like Ronald Reagan whose father was an alcoholic. Obama has W's secretary of defense Gates.

    Wow, no wonder the Republicans hate him.

    Hey GOP. if this is a Christian nation, why don't you guys follow the Golden Rule

    May 26, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  2. CHeeKZ_Money

    "Bush 41 also picked Souter. Disaster!"

    For the right. Souter hasn't been questions in terms of intellect, unlike 41's other pick.

    But I don't hear conservatives complaining about Thomas' short comings.

    Empathy doesn't equal right. It means taking things in context. Justice is blind not stupid.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  3. Trav

    Mr. T.."Just wondering.. Who would Obama have nominated, that wouldn’t have been “a great pick?”

    Very well said. Obama could have picked Caroline Kennedy and it would be hailed by the left as an extremely wise choice. Of course he was going to pick a liberal female minority. As far as all the ignorant Republican bashers go....Repulicans AND the Democrats are supposed to give a nominee serious consideration. Not just rubber stamp whomever Obama nominates. But what can you expect when politics is practiced like tribal warfare rather than intelligent governance (and of that BOTH liberals and conservatives are guilty).

    May 26, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  4. Ames

    So another blameless minority pick, who has a bit of a superiority complex over men. So she's already sexist, supports big surpise the illegal imigrants.

    Go Obama, your the perfect prez since keep lining the table like this anything you do something wrong is because evil white people don't like change?

    What change?

    May 26, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  5. ko

    A left leaning moderate is going to replace a left leaning moderate. I fail to see the major issue. The balance of the court is going to remain unchanged.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  6. Tennessee Libertarian

    "Moderate" liberal???

    I guess that makes Obama a "moderate" Communist?

    May 26, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  7. VGal

    I am sure we will hear from all the republicans (including a few on this post). After all, Sonya comes from a poor background. She's not an affluent male, like the GOP would like to see appointed.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  8. Jeff

    I truly hope we get a judge on the bench that will FINALLY help the gay community....hopefully she will represent the progressive side of America that wishes to see equality for all...not the "special" marriage rights currently reserved for only for straight couples. And to the extreme right-wing nut jobs, yes–this will at some point make it all the way to the Supreme Court and you will LOSE. It may take a while to get there, but you cannot deny your fellow tax-paying Americans equal rights under the law...come up with whatever cute name you want to call if you can't stomach "marriage" but it will happen...get used to it.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  9. Mike

    To KLB,

    You lost. Just shut-up!

    May 26, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  10. Michael Smith

    The country and Constitution needs to have a moderate voice. It is frightening in decisions since Roberts became Chief Justice, that the Roberts-Scalia-Thomas-Alito pack has a penchant to support methods and ideology usually associated with dictators and trample on the Constitution and individual. I hope there is no political payoff of Sotomayer in the manner that Roberts was paid for his service in carrying the water for Dubya in Bush-Gore to the Supreme Court.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  11. Critical Thinker

    I wish the Republican base would stop whining and trying to destroy this country. They have no sense of bipartisanship...as 43 aptly put it, either you're with them or against them....no such thing as moderate to them. That attitude is childish and sad...they'll end up being even more aggressive sore losers and will try harder to undermine the U.S. and what it represents. We'll always have our extreme conservatives and extreme liberals, but what makes this country strong is the true moderate base...there just happens to be more Democrats than Republicans that are moderates for now.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  12. jB san francisco

    Only republiCONS would consider "empathy" as a negative attribute.
    Doesn't that tell us their whole story?

    May 26, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  13. Larry

    To Rick the dick:
    You need lessons in grammar and spelling.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  14. mark

    the rules say President Obama gets to pick, isn't it great. 🙂

    May 26, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  15. Bruce M.

    One thing that has been made crystal clear over the last 40 years or so, if it wasn't clear before, is that "judicial activisim" is not the sole province of "liberal" judges. "Making law from the bench" happens on both sides of the ideological divide. "Conservatives" are no less immune.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  16. Mike S

    KLB I agree that Republicans should not shut up, i hope you Republicans have some ideas instead of just partisan sniping. KLB how are Republicans going to win another election in the near future with woman , Hispanics and blacks not on your side? Do you not see the dynamic that is forming in the country? Your GOP is getting narrower and narrower and the growth of Hispanics in the country where are you going to get the votes? If the GOP goes after Sotomayor you can forget about the Hispanic vote for the next 10 years. The the GOP will be the Limbaugh party and 20 million votes gets you jack squat in a general election.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  17. Bob

    I worked as an assistant DA with her in the 80's. She sure wasn't shy about trying to win convictions then, which seems at odds with all the concern now that she is a liberal fanatic. Elections have consequences and President Obama won. She may not have been my first pick but she'll be fine. Relax.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  18. Larry

    Mr. Neverright (Navarettte) was wrong again. He said that President Obama would never select a Latino. I am sure in his next commentary he will say that judge Sonia Sotomayo is not Latino enough or that her views are not in line with Latino views. Well, Mr. Neverright, there are many people of Spanish descent that are not right wing nut jobs like you. And bravo Mr. president for selecting the best person for the job. (Unlike your predecessor).

    May 26, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  19. AnaHadWolves

    Speaking as a white, moderate, Caucasian male, I'm extremely happy that President Obama has chosen Judge Sotomayor for the SCOTUS. It's inconceivable that only white, male, Caucasians who are jingoistically-motivated are qualified to sit on that bench.

    Even though Republicans think otherwise, Americans come in all shades, ethnicities and backgrounds; Judge Sotomayor's selection simply reinforces that truth.

    May 26, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  20. Jerry

    (A) Supreme Court picks often end up adjudicating quite differently than predicted. (B) This has no real effect on the balance of power on the Court. It will be the NEXT justice, not this one, that determines what President Obama's real intentions are for the Court. (C) This is a softball for Obama. Professionally she is eminently qualified, liberal enough that Democrats will be appeased, moderate enough that Republicans won't be able to mount any kind of Borking operation against her. And politically correct enough that the media has to love her. Obama will come out looking like a genius once again, but the real test of his political skills and his ideological beliefs will come with his SECOND Supreme Court pick.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  21. Robert

    She is an imbecile that has been nominated SOLELY because of gender and ethnicity. Her Judicial qualifications were never considered ...look at how many of her rulings have been OVERTURNED by the Supreme Court . Now ... she will be sitting on that Court making a mockery of Law.
    What a sad sad sad day for America.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  22. Mike

    Great pick! well done President Smart Obama

    May 26, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  23. Corzich

    It's true, we conservatives lost the election, due in no small part to the biased media. And it's true Obama has pciked EXACTLY who I expected him to pick. I'll stop "whining" ("I prefer the term advocating") about it when liberals stop whining about the Bush years, which were good, safe years for this nation. Sotomayor's judicial philosphy isn't what bothers me–it's what you'd expect from any Obama pick. What disturbs me is her naked racism–her quote where "a wise old Latina" would of necessity make better choices than a white male, simply due to genes and gender. Reverse those, and you'd have a REAL scandal.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  24. Moderate in PA

    Many comments posted here from both the left and right are ugly and hate-filled. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  25. SC

    Is she pro-life? Does anyone know?

    May 26, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  26. james

    Moderate liberalism? That would make Charles Manson just a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is an activist socialist judge who will be an activist socialist justice. Let's just hope Obama doesn't get to replace a conservative justice.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  27. Todd

    all you Obama supporters, do you really see change? I do. Less jobs available, economy is in the toilet? bailouts, helping the welfare folks with cars? insurance? health care plan? emission testing? leave the gov't out of my life, they're all crooks. Obama speaks a good game, but if you have any brains at all it's easy to see right through it.
    This person he appointed, belives in abortion(murder) believes in gay marriage(please!) and wants guns to disappear. Obama is on a mission and people are so blinded by what he wants, it's scary to me.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  28. Bobby

    Republicans know there is no way to block any pick the President makes. They will use his pick to get donations and fire up their base which is shrinking every day. But their main goal here is to weaken the Obama administration.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  29. mm

    Um...to clairesolt go here to get her resume....
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/26/sotomayor.resume/index.html

    idiot

    May 26, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  30. Vincent Petrosino

    This is one very savvy president. With his help, the Supreme Court of the land will reflect the ethnic diversity of this country as it should. We have an eminently qualified nominee who will replace Justice Souter and keep balance on the court. And she is a woman to boot! What more can you ask for? Conservatives and the defunct GOP do not seem to have received the memo!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  31. Mr T.

    Just wondering.. Who would Obama have nominated, that wouldn't have been "a great pick?"

    May 26, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  32. CB

    The Republicans would be wise to tread lightly here. Most of america associates the party as being made up of racists and bigots. They have an opportunity to prove the country right and I'm sure they will. They have already lost many, many, hispanic votes. They will continue to lose more as the years move foward. It's their own fault with men like Steele, Cheney, Newt, and Limbaugh leading the way, LOL

    May 26, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  33. Sam Crunchie

    Sotomayor is a Puerto Rican Judge. She may be a great Supreme Court Judge. I hope so. However, she is not a Mexican American judge so we Americans of Mexican heritage are still not represented on the Supreme Court. It is absurd to lump all people of Latino heritage under the generic term "hispanic". Of course this reality amplifies the absurdity of selecting a candidate based on their ethnicity. When you do this you can never satisfy everyone in a multicultural society. The only way you can come close to satisfying everyone is to select the most qualified candidate without considering ethnicity.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  34. conserve 56

    I did not expect Obama to nominate a conservative.

    I suspect that Ms. Sotomayor will be consistently liberal in her views no matter what the case. I understand she is on the side of the City and against the white and Hispanic firefighters who were denied promotions even though they excelled on the promotion exam.

    What more do you need to know? We will have another justice who ignores the words in the Constitution when it does not fit her political agenda of quotas and forced equality at any cost.

    Basically the left wants no standards of competency imposed when it comes to hiring and promotion practices. Anytime a minority fails an exam, it is deemed that the exam is unfair.

    This insanity will never end because Obama will ensure that all the federal judges he appoints will continue the insanity.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  35. Kurt C.

    Nothing this woman has done points toward her being moderate. She even said she legislates from the bench.

    She's a kook left wing liberal.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  36. Brandon

    She upheld the law that prevented world organizations from discussing abortion if they are taking money. That decison would probably be considered conservative by anyone's barometer.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  37. peter rice

    Once again, watch the Republicans bash Justice Sotomayor. Sessions of Alabama will be the leader in the hearing. Who oh why does Alabama elect the two worse anti senators, Sessions and Shelby.
    Thanks

    May 26, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  38. NotFooledTX

    j smith May 26th, 2009 9:56 am ET

    Toobin is off his rocker!!! sotomayor is an EXTREME liberal activist judge. it is disgusting CNN portrays this judge as a moderate…trying to convince the public that this is indeed the case. EMPATHY??? i thought justice was blind and a judge should NOT have empathy of one side over another! typical extreme liberal nomination from a typical VERY extreme liberal prez…

    -

    J Smith – do you have any facts to back up or comments that the nominee is an "EXTREME liberal activist" – or are you just hyperventillating?? Rants without reason or facts are just that and are quickly disregarded. check with rush later – I'm sure he'll fill in the blanks for your hysterical tirade.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  39. rreno

    So the conservatives are all screaming bloody murder and stamping their feet because Obama didn't nominate one of them – he nominated "an extreme liberal". What does that mean? To them, it means anyone to the left of Benito Mussolini.

    Here's a news flash guys – YOU LOST THE ELECTION! People don't buy the snake oil you've been selling anymore. And to borrow a phrase that so much the rage over the last eight years, "If you don't like it, why don't you move to another country?" Oh, wait a minute... the Third Reich was overthrown, wasn't it? My, you conservatives are up a creek, aren't you???

    May 26, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  40. KLB

    I am so sick of hearing the replys that the Republicans should just shut up because they lost the election. Okay, so the last four years you Democrats should have also just shut up since you lost the election. Trust me, the Republicans will win again and much sooner than you liberals want to believe and I will be on this site daily saying "just shut up, you lost!"

    May 26, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  41. Eileen

    Norm Deplume, Esq. May 26th, 2009 9:29 am ET

    "Obama signaled that he wanted to pick someone that would be “compassionate”, meaning that she would nullify laws she did not agree with. Sotomayor is just the person to carry this administration’s water when it comes to re-writing laws from the bench."

    -

    Norm, are you psychic? You read Pres. Obama's mind and KNOW that the word "compassionate" means "she would nullify laws she did not agree with". Nice try. If you're truly a lawyer, you scare me.

    Give it up skippy, there's not much you or your side can do. What did you expect – another conservative on the court?

    Keep the mind reading to youself – your results aren't too promising.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  42. Willaim Tansmith

    Norm Deplume, Esq.- Examples please, My bet is that you can not cite one example. Typical republicans picking up Buzz words and not reading the facts to form their own opinion.

    I guess the gang of old white guy's are girding for a fight.
    Face it you all lost and he gets to pick who ever he wants. We lived, and continue to suffer from that non-speaking porn king Thomas

    May 26, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  43. Shane

    I can't believe how moronic the liberals are! My guess is you won't realize it until the government controls everything. My guess is even then you won't care probably because you expect the hard working tax payers to actually support you in every way shape or form. I have news for you though...what happens when the money runs out? Then what will you do? My guess is whither and die since you don't know how to fend for yourselves anyway.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  44. C. Patrick Henry

    RIGHT WING & LEFT WING please leave! We have got a country to run. What do know about law? You both have spent most of your lives yelling slogans you don't understand the meaning of.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  45. Matt, Pittsburgh

    The right is diving head first into a serious hypocritical position right now. If they want to contest her ACTUAL judicial capacity and intellect, they had better be ready to defend the nomination of Clarence Thomas, a Justice that even the other conservatives on the bench won't let write opinons.
    If they want to argue that she is merely a politically motivated partisan hack, they had better be ready to explain why Justice Scalia has spouted the conservative line consistently over his tenure and he is not a hack. (Other than the mindless comments about how conservatives are infallible in their constitutional interpretation simply because they agree with it.)
    Let me explain something... all judges are activist, from Brennan to Scalia. They read the constitution the way they want to read it. If you don';t belive me, read the 9th Amendment, or the due process, equal protection, or privileges and immunities clauses and tell me what they include and exclude. I promise you you can't, it has to (and has been) INTERPRETED.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  46. martel

    "Conservatives . . . described her as a "bully" who "abuses lawyers." "

    But that's OK when Scalia does it, of course.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  47. Tedd

    When your own political leanings are so far to the extreme right, of course you'll see a moderate as being a left-wing liberal. But the
    SCOTUS already has enough right-wing representation.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  48. Brad

    Let's see, who won the election? Democrats. Who picks the Supreme
    Court Justice? Democrats. Want to change that? Win an election.
    Let's see, where did I hear that before? Impugn away, republicans.
    I'm always looking for a laugh.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  49. PAX

    KWW, Jesus *was* a liberal. The right wingers would never approve him.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  50. Sam

    Judge Sotomayor's actions in the Connecticut Fierfighter's case is extremely disturbing to say the least, siding with the city to toss the results of a promotion exam because minorities didn't scored high enough. It appears that hard work will no longer be the measure of the individual, but the color of their skin.

    Her statements on the Appeals court and the making of policy are also a red flag. Remarks like this from a judge should be shocking to those of any political party.

    While I'm not saying that she isn't capable, I can't help think that there are more qualified individuals. If this is his best qualified person, the country is indeed in dire straits. I'm disappointed that the President seems to think more of the gender/race of the individual than their ability to protect the Constitution and laws of the Country. I'm beginning to regret my vote, so far the President has not lived up to my expectations. So much for change...

    May 26, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  51. Sterling

    Rick, get a grip. Where was your similar complaints when Bush was the poster-boy for recruiting terrorist? Whether we were safer or not under Bush is really questionable. And you can't really blamce the Obama administration for the unemployment.
    You remind me of a right-wing friend that told me that when Clinton was elected our economy would fall apart. He was wrong... the same as you are wrong about Obama. Your hated for all but right-wing ideology reminds me of the nazi party before WW2.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  52. Doug Evans

    You right wingers would complain about Rush Limbaugh being appointed, so long as it came from President Obama.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  53. Paul

    Oh no! Obama is going to put a judge on the SCOTUS who has EMPATHY. A real person. A NON-PSYCHOPATH. We're doomed, I say. DOOMED.
    😉

    May 26, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  54. DC

    To all of you conservatives complaining about how liberal Sotomayor is ... are you stupid? We elected a liberal President, of course he's going to pick a liberal Supreme Court nominee. Get over it ... you're on the losing side this time, stop whining about it. We've had to live with Republican Presidents for 28 of the last 40 years, now it's our time. You still have a 5-4 conservative majority on the Court, Sotomayor is replacing the most liberal member on the Court.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  55. jon

    Jesus Christ is a liberal? Yep he would condone killing innocent unborn children...

    May 26, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  56. Frank

    A Hispanic, white-male hating liberal. No surprise here!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  57. Don Cooper

    I don't believe any rightwinger should say anything about "activist" judges following the debacle of the activist conservatives on the Supreme Court who decided to appoint George W. Bush.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  58. jon

    Empathy??? Lady Justice is blindfolded. There is only the rule of law according to the constitution. Yet again our constitution will be considered a living document. What a joke. Abortion on demand... fantastic. Prolife or prodeath?

    May 26, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  59. Mike H in Philly

    "Judge Sotomayor is EXTREMELY capable and has stellar credentials. Opposition from the hateful, unhinged right is based largely on the fact that they DON’T want to know anything about her other than calling her a “liberal” and who “empathizes”. Give me a break. She has an established judicial record, went to the top law school in the country, and has a compelling background which shows just how hard she’s worked in her life. She has not been handed success on a silver platter like the typical conservative thug in Congress, and she will be an excellent Justice once she is confirmed."

    Substitute Roberts for Sotomayor, he for she, and conservative for liberal, and you have a comment that would have been appropriate a few years ago when Roberts was nominated. Obama won, and he gets to nominate whomever he wants. The Republicans will put up the same amount of opposition as the Dems did to Roberts and Alito. She'll most likely be a justice that will vote with the liberal bloc, oh well. Whether or not she turns out to be a good justice will be for history to judge. Roberts has turned out extremely well, we can only hope she does as well...

    May 26, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  60. chris

    Don said: I wonder if she will follow the constitution or will she make laws as she see fit.

    That is a good point, Don.

    After Bush Jr. selected the activist judges Roberts and Alito, it will be important to get somebody nominated who can actually interpret the constitution properly.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  61. Teddy

    Moderate liberalism – wonderful; they came up with a PC term for someone they think will keep Roe vs. Wade alive and kicking. When Bush made his selection for the Supreme Court, the only thing you heard out of liberals was fear that Roe vs. Wade would be over-turned. Everything said, every comment, every criticism, was centered on Roe vs. Wade. Liberals always polarize selections to the Supreme Court in this light.

    As far as bringing a voice of reason, every judge brings a voice of reason. Problem is, their idea of reason will be different than yours. What are her qualifications, her track record regarding decisions? Is she politically motivated or does she seek to place precedent and the rule of law above politics. That is what's important, not how she stands on your particular position.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  62. Robert J

    Yet again the "know it all" Repugs voice their single, simple minded war cry. She is not a vindictive, condescending, judgemental, right wing, better than thou, Republican puppet they would love to see. It's been 7 months since sensible Americans spoke by electing President Obama and the right wing morons still have got it. Go cry to Cheney and Limbaugh as if they can help you! And while you are it just "get a life"!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  63. beanne

    I don't know enough about her to comment but I do see that she once ruled against a pro abortion group..thats a plus

    May 26, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  64. John Long

    Extremist haters of the far right had their attack portfolio ready long before today, and early this morning then the name of Judge Sotomayor was revealed, the bile immediately spewed all across the radio waves.

    Now we see that the right-wing haters have begun appearing here, too.

    Judge Sotomayor's appointment is good in terms of legal skills, experience and judicial temperament. It is good in terms of perspective toward the primacy of the constitution. It is good in all the professional aspects that qualify someone for the nation's highest bench.

    As far as her sex is concerned, and her ethnic heritage, those are important factors but they did not overrule weaknesses in her qualifications. The haters forget this. And as the fastest-growing part of the American population, Hispanics deserve opportunities, when they arise, to sit in the "councils of state." The haters forget this.

    Inclusion is clearly a part of the Obama Administration. Exclusion is clearly the program of the haters. No wonder they are losing political relevance.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  65. John Mize

    She's about as moderate at Hilton Perez!!!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  66. Mark

    Qualifications have absolutely nothing to do with whether she will be confirmed. It's all politics!!! Our liberal congress will confirm this liberal nominee nominated by a liberal president. If qualifications had anything to do with it, Robert Bork would be sitting on the Supreme Court right now.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  67. jj

    As long as she upholds the Constitution and our individual rights as they are written, I don't care if she is Minnie Mouse! Congress makes the laws, Judges enforce the laws. Plain and simple.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  68. James M. Holmes

    Well the radical conservatives are already calling her a "judicial activist" which is nothing more than NeoCon code for any judge who isn't a NeoCon nut!

    If the right was happy with this pick I would be worried... but the fact they are alrewady attacking her leads me to believe she is probably the correct choice!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  69. Jeffrey

    Are conservatives so dilusional that they believe the PRESIDENT should nominate a right-wing conservative to the supreme court. The PRESIDENT has the priviledge of nominating anyone he wants. Republicans basically can cry and whine all they want, but they LOST. Do I need to repeat that! Republicans lost.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  70. chris

    AL Said: Republicans, the No party, wouldn’t be happy if a Democrat nominated God.

    Of course they wouldn't be happy about the nomination of God. God, as any sensible observer can see, is liberal. He would just smite the republicans from the bench 95% of the time. 🙂

    May 26, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  71. Hendrix650

    The Neocons are just pissed that Obama has made a very solid pick; one who is a 2 for 1 er. She locks up the Latino vote and she is a woman. The GOP must now tread lightly regarding her confirmation or otherwise be portrayed as a bunch of BIGOTS. Just look at their track record. They never found a minority that they never loved to hate, yet expect the same individuals to vote The Party Line because of ideology.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  72. Bob

    Ummm, how is she not moderate? Bush 1 appointed her! Eat that rethugs.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  73. Don

    I wonder if she will follow the constitution or will she make laws as she see fit.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  74. brenda

    Moderate liberal??
    Are you kidding me? She sided with the New Haven CT government that threw out promotion test results because the white firefighters passed and no hispanics/blacks did....She basically said you can discriminate against white people always in favor of black/hispanics. This is EXACTLY the same racism whites used against blacks in the 60's. I guess its only racism if it affects a minority. You might as well just appoint minorities to positions of power no matter what their qualifications because she thinks the U.S. Constitution somehow doesn't read "equal rights" but reads "unequal rights to favor a minority who was unjustly treated DECADES/Centuries before". What an embarrassment.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  75. Dan Stewart

    Lets watch as the Repubs start smearing her as an "activist judge" and "radical liberal". Look at the Court right now, it is sharply tilted to the right, so a moderate, liberal, Hispanic woman will be a great counter weight to the current prevailing ideology.
    Excellent choice by the President, she sounds very smart, not as liberal as she is painted and has that "real life" experience that really does matter.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  76. H. Alvarez

    This was an excellent pick. We need the process to take hold and cease to politicize the process. It is sad when we reduce ourself's to self flagilation and drag-out the "tit for tat" elements from our different political parties..... People the "Bork" era ended and our country faces new and ever changing challenges.....Lets united as true americans and allow our diversity to take hold..... Judge Sotomayor, has proven that she can be fair and equitable in interpreting the law. Keep politics where it belongs in the bowels of Capital Hill and out of our Judicial branch of government. Give me a break, the "NO Party-(Republicans) needs to wake up......They lost the election....Dah!

    H

    May 26, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  77. kww

    I guarantee you if Obama nominated Jesus Christ to the Supreme Court, the GOP would whine He was too liberal and try to block His appointment.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  78. Bernard Werwinski Sr.

    Just as expected from CNN-MODERATE???. If this is a moderate selection I am one who does not know left from right. Per CNN Obama can do no wrong-which is your prerogative,but,ri discolor the coverage as you consistently do is an abandonment of any type of journalistic ethics. You shoul present yourself as a appendage of the ultra liberal wing. Sadly,BTW

    May 26, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  79. No Incumbents 2010

    RepugliKLAN extremists such as clairesolt and Norm Deplume will ignore Sotomayor's outstanding professional qualifications in favor of the Rove/Limbaugh playbook of ad hominem, partisan attacks of the most personal in nature. 12 years of Bush presidents and they selected men for ALL of their nominees.
    Norm Deplume could not name one example of Sotomayor "re-writing" laws from the bench. Like when the conservative majority re-wrote the Constitution to say the government can seize private property for economic development?

    May 26, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  80. Capt Fogg

    "Sotomayor is just the person to carry this administration’s water when it comes to re-writing laws from the bench."

    So she's already re-writing laws? Or perhaps your fantasies seem more real than reality.

    Well at least she's not carrying the stinky stuff for our previous administration.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  81. Paul

    Her comment "...court of appeals is where policy is made..." should scare everyone to death. It is in direct contradiction to our constitution. Haven't we had enough (over the last 8 years) of our constitution being ignored? Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  82. Michael

    You can tell she is a good pick-the right-wing hates her!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  83. Alice

    Conservatives would be unhappy no matter who Obama picked - because he [obviously] would not be picking one of them. What do they expect him to do?

    Sheesh!

    May 26, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  84. David

    Bush 41 also picked Souter. Disaster!

    May 26, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  85. j smith

    Toobin is off his rocker!!! sotomayor is an EXTREME liberal activist judge. it is disgusting CNN portrays this judge as a moderate...trying to convince the public that this is indeed the case. EMPATHY??? i thought justice was blind and a judge should NOT have empathy of one side over another! typical extreme liberal nomination from a typical VERY extreme liberal prez...

    May 26, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  86. Al

    From her record, Sotomayor should bring a voice of reason, something the mouthy Republican extremists do not understand. Republicans, the No party, wouldn't be happy if a Democrat nominated God.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  87. Jane

    Absolutely great pick. I am sooooo happy.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  88. V

    I still look forward to the day that we do not judge people by the color of their skin, gender, religion etc. This time we chose again to pick just those with certain traits, repeating what history has taught us leads to problems. Instead of not asking those questions, we made sure they were at the top of the list. I am a moderate conservative woman, a former Republican now a Democrat. Can we pick our leaders on their merits, ethics, and good will towards all the worlds people, and someone in the middle? Obama has come the closest....

    May 26, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  89. chris

    The Republicans are a one issue party....this candidate will not please them.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  90. Erick

    I would like to know what a moderate is... The term seems to be more about spin than informing anyone on her views or her past decisions.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  91. Rick

    I see Obama has picked another racists for his administtration. Maybe all the Obama supporters and Obama himself should review hjer speech from the 90's. God Can Only Help Us Now, since Obama has left the door wide open for a less safe America and empathy in our court system. Obama you might as well open the gates and let it all happen. America will never be the same, economy in the pits, NO JOBS, America less safe, a racists and crooked administrtation with every pick and Obama with NO backbone except to promote his agenda and his buddies while the American People Suffer.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  92. Jon

    Judge Sotomayor is EXTREMELY capable and has stellar credentials. Opposition from the hateful, unhinged right is based largely on the fact that they DON'T want to know anything about her other than calling her a "liberal" and who "empathizes". Give me a break. She has an established judicial record, went to the top law school in the country, and has a compelling background which shows just how hard she's worked in her life. She has not been handed success on a silver platter like the typical conservative thug in Congress, and she will be an excellent Justice once she is confirmed.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  93. Terry Groll

    Distinguished Judge – outstanding qualifications. Politically savy move.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  94. T

    She will not be "great" she tends to lean furtehr left than what the media is suggesting. This is a hand chosen pick by Obama to help him pass his agenda through unfettered.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  95. gina

    sonia sotomayor will be great. bush 41 pick her..and clinton picked her....so she will be moderate...both sides should be happy...

    May 26, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  96. clairesolt

    I find this coverage disgusting. We are all diminished by this identity politics. Here is a candidate for the highest court and we do not have a single journalist capable of providing the professional resume that earneds her this distinction.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  97. James

    For a change we do have a very smart President.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  98. Norm Deplume, Esq.

    Moderate liberalism??? I am familiar with Sotomayor's record, and the word "moderate" doesn't come to mind. Rather, this is MSM, reading from their handler's WH-issued talking points.

    Obama signaled that he wanted to pick someone that would be "compassionate", meaning that she would nullify laws she did not agree with. Sotomayor is just the person to carry this administration's water when it comes to re-writing laws from the bench.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:29 am |
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